A lawsuit was filed alleging that KBR, Inc. endangered the health and safety of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan by exposing them to huge quantities of toxic dust, fumes and other air pollution by burning unsorted waste in vast open-air pits without any safety controls.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in New Jersey by the law firm of Jon L. Gelman LLC on behalf of two military veterans whose illnesses – which include respiratory disease, chronic cough, debilitating headaches, and neurological skin disorders – were allegedly caused by 24/7 hazardous emissions from burn pits.
KBR is accused of operating burn pits in such an unsafe manner that they permitted thick, noxious smoke emerging from the flames, sometimes colored blue or green by burning chemicals, to hang over US bases and camps across Iraq and Afghanistan since 2004.
According to the complaint, the burn pits are so large that tractors are used to push waste onto them and the flames shoot hundreds of feet into the sky. KBR allegedly burned waste such as biohazard materials including human corpses, medical supplies, paints, solvents, asbestos, items containing pesticides, animal carcasses, tires, lithium batteries, Styrofoam, wood, rubber, medical waste, large amounts of plastics, and even entire trucks.
Attorney Jon L. Gelman said, “it is alleged that KBR failed to follow prescribed safety protocols for the proper disposal of waste materials, and protect the health and safety of those soldiers serving in and about those areas. It was common knowledge that open-air incineration of toxic substances, including known carcinogens, endangered those individuals living in and about those areas. A company should not willfully disregard appropriate safety precautions and endanger US Solders heroically serving their country.